Men's Basketball Remain Unbeaten at Home with Win Over Clark

2011 Men's Basketball Seniors Directing the Band

Worcester, MA --- Four players reached double figures to help nationally-ranked WPI rally from an eight-point first half deficit to defeat rival Clark 69-52 Saturday afternoon in the NEWMAC men's basketball season finale for both squads.   

WPI, ranked No. 10 in the most recent D3hoops Top 25 and third in the latest NCAA Division III New England rankings, remains undefeated at home this winter.  The Crimson and Gray are 10-0 in Harrington Auditorium and end the regular season with a 21-4 record.  The Engineers completed NEWMAC play with an 11-1 mark for the fourth time in the last five seasons. 

Clark, who overcame an 0-6 start in conference action to be in contention for a NEWMAC Tournament bid on the final day of the season, sees its campaign come to an end with a 10-15 overall record and 4-8 ledger in conference contests.   

The visiting Cougars used an 8-0 spurt midway through the opening half to take its largest lead of the game at 15-7. The Engineers whittled away at the deficit and took the lead for good with four points in the final minute before intermission as a pair of Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH) free throws and a Kyle Nadeau (Webster, MA) reverse layup in the waning seconds gave WPI a 28-24 lead at the break. 

Senior Ben Etten (Hollis, NH) led the charge in the second half for the hosts with all 12 of his points, including a pair of 3-pointers and a 3-for-3 performance from the free throw line.  Classmate Jeffrey Robinson (Granby, CT) also finished with 12 while Nadeau and Carr both chipped in with 11.  

Carr added game-highs of eight rebounds and three blocks while registering pair of thunderous second half dunks.  The Engineers enjoyed a 38-26 advantage on the glass and limited the guests to just two offensive rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. 

Clark also sported a balanced offensive attack with junior Brian Vayda (Sturbridge, MA) leading the way with 12 points to go along with team-highs of seven rebounds and three steals.  Classmates D.J. Bailey (Palmer, MA) and Travis Curley (Trumbull, CT) each tossed in 10 points for the Cougars while Jeff Tagger (Brockton, MA) and Jake Gubitose (Fiskdale, MA) amassed seven and six points respectively.         

WPI is off until next weekend when it hosts the NEWMAC Tournament semifinals and championship game.  The top-seeded Engineers open semifinal play next Saturday at 1pm versus the winner of Wednesday matchup between fourth-seeded Babson and fifth-seeded Coast Guard.  The championship game is slated for Sunday, February 27th at 1pm.